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SCV Senior Center gets additional funding for food programs

Posted: March 27, 2014 6:26 p.m.
Updated: March 27, 2014 6:26 p.m.

Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center home delivery volunteer Colleen Benn checks her list against the meals in the back of her van as she prepares to deliver Thanksgiving meals. While the Senior Center provides home-delivered meals on week days, the Thanksgiving feast meals are provided by the Castaic and Santa Clarita Valley Lions clubs.

The city of Santa Clarita has signed on to provide more than $29,000 in additional funding to the Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center for the center’s food and nutrition programs.

A few weeks ago the Senior Center, which is run by the nonprofit Santa Clarita Valley Committee on Aging, approached both the city and Los Angeles County to notify them about a budget shortfall threatening to imperil senior meal service, according to Peggy Rasmussen, chairwoman of the governing board for the Committee on Aging.

“You can’t say enough about how they’re cooperating with us,” she said of the county and the city.

The center currently provides 500 meals a day, 300 of which are home-delivered, Rasmussen said Thursday.

City Council members voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve $29,240 in financial support for the center.

“Senior Center administrative staff reports that the food and nutrition programs do not have enough funding to meet the current demand, as the Senior Center now provides an additional 80 meals per day that are beyond the scope of the food and nutrition budget,” reads the council agenda item on the topic. “Without additional funding, the Senior Center will be unable to provide meals to local seniors through the end of this fiscal year.”

The city allocates more than $600,000 a year to the center, according to city spokeswoman Gail Morgan.

It also provided a one-time, $100,000 donation to the Senior Center in 2012.

What the city’s role should be regarding the center and the local senior population has been one of the most-discussed issues during this year’s Santa Clarita City Council campaign, with some candidates saying the city should either increase the amount of money it gives to the center or even look into forming municipal senior centers at several locations.

Candidates also have been largely united in calling for development of at least one other senior center in the city.
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